Have we mentioned how much we love Eric LeGrand on this here blog?
In case you missed it earlier today — and if you did, you missed a hell of an interview — LeGrand was on College Football Live to talk about his recovery efforts from a kickoff tackle back in October that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
LeGrand spoke about the incident, the recovery, and his possible future as a broadcaster (he worked as a color commentator for Rutgers’ spring game).
But one issue that has gained some interest in the past couple of months is Rutgers coach Greg Schiano‘s proposal to eliminate kickoffs from college football. Clearly, Schiano has a vested interest in the matter after watching LeGrand be carted off the field, but in all, it hasn’t been met with a ton of support.
His life has been forever changed by the kickoff, but the LeGrand said in his interview that he supports keeping kickoffs as part of the game. It’s not a terribly surprising answer when you hear the kid talk; he’s all optimism and zero blame.
“I believe a lot of people make their money, in the NFL, off special teams,” said LeGrand. “Kickoffs and kickoff returns are a huge thing. But I can understand why he wants to change that, after seeing one of his players, like seeing one of his sons, go down.
“That was my thing. I used to run down there and make a lot of plays, stop ’em behind the 20-yard line. So, that was my thing to do out there.”
It’s an interesting aspect that perhaps not everybody thinks about. Player safety has become a top priority on every level of the sport, but we can’t forget what the sport’s identity is: a violent game. Part of that game is special teams, where plenty of kids who aren’t on the two-deep get a chance to make an impact on their team.